Newry is highest for dog attacks in Northern Ireland
Vicious dogs have been responsible for a staggering 157 attacks in the Newry and Mourne area over the past year, the worst in an urban area in Northern Ireland. A major crack-down on irresponsible dog owners has already begun and as concern has grown over the frequency of dog-related attacks, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has launched a 12-week consultation on new licensing and identification laws. The tighter regulations, which come into effect in April 2012, will introduce compulsory micro-chipping amongst other legislation.
Under the Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order as amended, it is an offence for any dog to attack or cause injury to a person, any other animal owned by another person or livestock. Injuries include bruises, scrapes, cuts, puncture wounds, broken bones and severe cuts which require stitches. Under the legislation ‘attacking’ also includes a dog behaving in such a way that it causes a person to fear they will be attacked and injured. It is also an offence to command or encourage a dog to attack a person.
Free micro-chipping of dogs is available at participating Veterinary Surgeries within the district. Previously it cost £5 to licence your dog but from 2nd October 2011, the licence fees have changed. The fee is now £12.50 to licence your dog annually though reduced fees are now available and are listed below:
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